Proactive weekly mining highlights: Asiamet Resources, Greatland Gold, Strategic Minerals…

A look back at some of the stories from London’s junior miners this week…

It was a busy week for the diggers

Salt Lake Potash Ltd (LON:SO4) started constructing the first evaporation ponds at its Lake Way Sulphate of Potash (SOP) Project near Wiluna in Western Australia.

The first phase will enable de-watering of the Lake Way Williamson Pit that contains the highest-grade brine resource in Australia.

Lake Way's initial ponds, which will be the country's first commercial-scale on-lake SOP ponds, will have the capacity to hold 1.2 gigalitres of Williamson Pit brine at an average SOP grade of 25 kilograms per cubic metre.

This contains the equivalent of 32,000 tonnes of premium SOP. 

Oriole Resources PLC (LON:ORR) said a trench programme at one of its Cameroon gold assets had returned what it described as “very encouraging” results.

At the Bibemi project, geologists found orogenic-style gold mineralisation, which is formed when the earth’s crust folds.

Among the more eye-catching returns was six metres at just over three grams per tonne of the yellow metal with individual veins measuring up to 13.7 grams per tonne.

Asiamet Resources Limited (LON:ARS) received two key approvals for its wholly-owned BKM copper project in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia.

The Government of Indonesia (GOI) has formally approved a feasibility study for the project along with the environmental impact assessment (AMDAL) for the project.

The parallel approval of the AMDAL is a major milestone for the company, Asiamet said, as this process along with subsequent approvals typically takes between 6-12 months following the approval of the GOI feasibility study.

Greatland Gold PLC (LON:GGP) finished the six months to December 2018 with approximately £4mln in cash.

This money will be used to continue with exploration work across the company’s Australian assets, including follow-up work on Havieron, where Greatland drilled a world-class intercept of 275 metres grading 4.77grams gold and 0.61% copper.

Work on the Black Hills, Ernest Giles and Firetower projects will also continue.

Strategic Minerals PLC (LON:SML) shares were lifted on Thursday after saying it plans to restart copper production at the Leigh Creek copper mine’s Mountain of Light (MoL) processing facility in April.

John Peters, managing director of the exploration firm, said the restart was “a significant step” toward full-scale production at the project, which is scheduled for late 2019 and early 2020.

African Battery Metals PLC (LON:ABM) has already received offers of new projects but will focus first on its existing portfolio, said executive director Paul Johnson.

ABM, which was refinanced in January, owns copper, nickel and cobalt assets in the DRC, Cameroon and Ivory Coast.

A new management team also took over at the same time led by ex-Regency Mines boss Andrew Bell and Johnson.

Irish gold explorer Connemara Mining Company PLC (LON:CON) raised £230,000 to help support ongoing exploration activities at its Mine River gold project in County Wexford.

Chief executive Patrick Cullen, finance director James Bill and non-executive director David Cockbill all put their hands in their pockets, buying a combined £25,000 worth of shares.

Xtract Resources PLC (LON:XTR) jumped on Tuesday after it entered an option agreement on the Eureka copper/gold project in Zambia.

The exploration firm said under the agreement, it would have an option to acquire a 50% stake in the project before 1 October 2019 after spending up to US$200,000 to assess the suitability of the project for a resource drilling programme and a feasibility study.

Colin Bird, executive chairman of Xtract, said that they believed there was potential for “a large mineralised body” as previous work at the site had provided a platform for exploration that “may lead to a large-scale copper-gold resource”.

Savannah Resources PLC (LON:SAV) has identified a new higher-grade lithium-bearing pegmatite body at Aldeia, about two kilometres to the south-east of the Grandao deposit in Portugal.

Key lithium intersections include: 21 metres at 1.50% lithium oxide (Li₂O), 20 metres at 1.36% Li₂O, 21metres at 1.24% Li₂O, and 14 metres at 1.41% Li₂O.

Drilling is continuing. Both the Aldeia and the newly discovered Pinheiro deposits will now be incorporated in an expanded and fully-funded definitive feasibility study, the completion of which will now extend into the second half of the year.

ECR Minerals PLC (LON:ECR) announced positive progress in the drilling programme being undertaken at the Black Cat prospect at the Bailieston gold project in the State of Victoria, Australia.

The AIM-listed firm said 250 metres of rotary air blast drilling has been completed to date in ten target holes at Black Cat within ECR ground immediately south of ground recently applied for by Newmont Exploration.

The company noted that wide zones of alteration were intersected in seven holes and quartz veining in two holes and, to date, 77 samples have been delivered for laboratory assay testing with results awaited.

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